Johnny Murtagh is no hurry to confirm plans for Sonnyboyliston following his fine run in defeat in Saudi Arabia on Saturday.

The six-year-old stuck to the job gamely to finish second behind Stay Foolish in the Red Sea Turf Handicap on his first start since winning the Irish St Leger at the Curragh in September.

The Dubai Gold Cup at Meydan later this month is the obvious next target, but Murtagh will see how Sonnyboyliston is over the next two weeks before making a decision.

“He ran great. I was very happy with the run. We knew he’s very good but he ran his race and we were delighted. He stuck on well, stayed on well round there,” said the County Kildare handler.

“We’ll get him home and make a decision. We’re in no rush after that run. Dubai is very much on his agenda but we’ll see how he is in the next couple of weeks.

“It’s a good starting place and we always thought he would improve, so let’s hope he can keep going.”

Murtagh was delighted by the way Sonnyboyliston took the long journey in his stride as it could open many options around the world.

“He looked great and he enjoyed being over there. He took to it really well, he enjoyed the sun and everyone was delighted,” he added.

“He’d been to England a few times but he had never been on a plane, so it’s always good when these horses can travel. There are big opportunities for them.”